Whatever Happened to Originality? Is Creativity Dead? Are we too busy to be unique?

Have you noticed that everything seems to look like something from the past these days? I recently saw a ford mustang with retro styling from the 60’s, being driven by a young woman with hair from the 80’s, blasting music that was a bad remake of a great song from the 70’s. When did we start running out of ideas? I know we like to say that there is nothing new under the sun but it seems like new ideas and concepts are a bit rarer these days. What about Rap songs that are using older hit songs as the basis of their impact? I don’t know about you, but it makes me want to hear the original song. I watch a movie (made in the last ten years) or a new network TV show (there is some original programming on HBO and Showtime) and I can predict in the first 10 minutes how the movie will end and in some cases I can spout off the actual dialog seconds before it comes of the characters mouth. My 11yr old thinks I’m psychic (which is great because in two years at the age of 13 she’ll just hate me)! Could it be that in a world that is so busy, we don’t have time to be unique? Maybe we are so desperate for approval that we just look at what people have liked in the past and create more of that? We are all guilty of doing what works to be successful (unless you are very original and unsuccessful and in that case, this post, strangely enough, is a pat on the back for your loser status). But I thought we were supposed to get ideas from the past not just copy what’s been done before. From my experience, and the history of business (that includes show business) the way to start a creative process is to get a group of people together and get them to agree on what has not been done before (as best you can) and apply that concept to what you are trying to achieve. So the lack of uniqueness will come from the goal you seek and not the concept itself.

Originality does not have to be the brain storm of genius, but it does take some thinking. When did we stop thinking?

The bottom line: Someone else has written a similar post about originality or this will be copied and end up in USA today as the original concept of another writer.

Resources: 

Article: Why good ideas don’t make it and bad ideas do

Article: The end of the information age

2 Responses to Whatever Happened to Originality? Is Creativity Dead? Are we too busy to be unique?

  1. amelia says:

    Im in highschool, i didnt even know conforming went outside of the immiture teen world. Seriously though, everybody is a complete clone anybody. The girls and guys who wear abercrombie and fitch, the kids that hangout in dark corners wearing trip pants and big black swearshirts and pretend they are like no one elseand the little nerdy kids who wear the most basic of the basics. plus everybody even talks the same, “Hey girl, Hey!” whats with that? why is everyones goal to be a conformist and to look the same as everybody else?!

  2. It’s ironic that teenagers conform to their chosen cliques in a bid to be non-conformist and that we carry on the trend into adulthood! However it has to be said you’re turn a few heads walking into a power-meeting dressed in assless chaps and a tutu. Conformity isn’t all that bad.

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